When did the Resumption of Research Phased Plan end? (6-11-21)

On June 10, 2021, President Capilouto announced campus measures (those policy changes are detailed in FAQs below) to emerge from the pandemic to be implemented beginning Monday, June 14, 2021. 

At this time, the University of Kentucky Resumption of Research Phased Plan will end, and researchers should operate based on University guidance.  See Lisa Cassis' email with details for researchers. 

 

How do the policy changes impact human subjects research? (6-11-21)

The modifications presented in the President's 6-10-21 message apply to campus settings and buildings that do not provide patient care services. They do not impact UK HealthCare’s policies regarding COVID-19. UK HealthCare facilities are following a phased approach to reopening based on community prevalence and number of active inpatients. UK HealthCare still requires daily screening and masking of all providers, staff, patients and visitors. Any person who will be in one of the health care facilities should understand the phase that health care facilities are in so they can follow the health care guidelines. Please note, research that involves human subjects will follow guidelines and policies provided by UK HealthCare for mask wearing and physical distancing, including community-based research. 

How do the policy changes impact health college employees and people in medical annex spaces? (6-11-21)

For health colleges or employees in physical proximity to UK HealthCare facilities, this means that if you are in a purely academic space (office, classroom, or other area) that is not managed by UK HealthCare follow the minimum campus requirements highlighted in the President's message. If you are in facilities managed primarily by the UK HealthCare enterprise (including clinics and hospitals) you will be expected to meet the more stringent requirements set by HealthCare. If a faculty or staff member has questions about the classification of the space they work in, they can email coronavirus@uky.edu. HealthCare will be sending a follow-up email to people in facilities that they manage. Also, if you complete a daily screener from UK HealthCare, that means you work in spaces primarily managed by the health care enterprise and you should continue to follow those guidelines.

What policy changes have been made for employee vaccination, masking and screening? (6-11-21)

Beginning June 14, on campus, the following changes will be implemented:

Vaccines

  • Vaccines are not mandated, but strongly encouraged. We will, of course, continue to monitor this issue and change plans, if necessary, to ensure the health and safety of our campus.
  • At the same time, a robust vaccination communication and engagement plan will continue into the fall.
  • As part of that effort, we will strongly encourage those who have been vaccinated to verify that status with the university so that requirements for steps such as testing and screening can be modified. Upload vaccination documentation here, via our self-report tool.
  • UK will accept all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization.
  • Thus far, about 70 percent of our campus — students, faculty and staff — have been vaccinated. We want this number to continue to increase.

Masks

  • People who are vaccinated are not required to wear masks or face coverings in campus outdoor spaces or inside buildings that do not provide patient care services.
  • Mask requirements for individuals who are not vaccinated will remain in place. In other words, individuals who are not vaccinated will be required to wear a mask or face covering when inside any campus facility, including recreation facilities. Individuals who are not vaccinated also should wear a mask outside if they are near other people.

Screening

  • Members of the UK community who have been vaccinated no longer are required to complete the university’s daily screener.
  • Those who have not been vaccinated will be required to respond to the daily screener.
  • If vaccinated individuals are still receiving reminders to complete the screener, it is possible that we do not have their vaccination documentation on file. Upload that information here, via our self-report tool.

What policy changes have been made for employee offices, classrooms, events, travel, dining and transportation? (6-11-21)

Beginning June 14, on campus, the following changes will be implemented:

Offices and Classrooms

  • Given UK’s successful vaccination efforts — and our ongoing efforts to communicate about vaccines — offices and classrooms will return to normal configurations this summer and fall, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Over the summer, UK officials — including the START team and in accordance with federal and state guidelines — will monitor this issue as we prepare for the fall. As always, our top priority will be the health and safety of our campus community.

Events, Activities and Athletics

  • We are planning to return our Athletics events to full capacity in fall 2021.
  • Capacity for on-campus events will return to 2019 policies, which allow for greater capacity and attendance.

Travel

  • The university will follow CDC guidelines, which continue to be updated, with respect to international travel.
  • UK will remove the language and guidance currently in place, which discourages domestic travel. We will add language strongly encouraging members of our community to be fully vaccinated before traveling.

Dining Halls

  • Dining halls and other related facilities will operate at normal capacity.
  • COVID-19 safety protocols and support — such as plexiglass, hand sanitizing stations and healthy behaviors signage — will remain in place.
  • While not eating, individuals who are not vaccinated are asked to either wear a mask or maintain an appropriate physical distance from others.

Transportation

  • UK will lift all capacity restrictions on university vehicles.

What do I do if one of my staff tests positive for COVID-19? (6-11-21)

Department management should ask the employee to notify UK Health Corps healthcorps@uky.edu

Vaccinated campus employees are no longer required to participate in daily COVID-19 screening. HealthCare employees will continue to follow the daily screening process currently in place. 

If you have general questions about the daily screener, please email healthcorps@uky.edu or call 859-218-SAFE.

More information can be found at https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/do-your-part/screening.

What is the latest guidance on research-related international travel? (6-16-21)

The following new guidelines around international travel among members of our community have been updated and are aligned with CDC guidance:

  • Effective immediately, fully vaccinated employees may conduct UK-endorsed international travel to any country that the CDC has designated a risk level 3 or lower for COVID-19 without completing an additional review process. 
  • All UK-endorsed travel to these countries must be registered in the university’s international travel registry.
  • Fully vaccinated employees who wish to travel to a country designated as a risk level 4 by the CDC must complete an additional review/approval process through the university’s Director of International Health, Safety and Security, Jason Hope (jasonhope@uky.edu).  
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated must also complete an additional review/approval process through the university’s Director of International Health, Safety and Security before traveling to any international destination, regardless of risk level. 
  • All international airline tickets for UK-endorsed travel must be purchased through UK Travel Services. 
  • International travel requests by students, including graduate students, and Education Abroad programs, will continue to be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis in alignment with UK Administrative Regulation 4:9. 

All international travelers should be aware that many countries continue to implement border restrictions, quarantine periods and testing requirements. It is essential for travelers to understand the landscape in their destination country so that they are prepared for any logistical challenges they may encounter.

Learn more: https://www.uky.edu/ufs/travel-services 

What leave options are available to myself and/or employees if we test positive for COVID-19?

If you are not well enough to work – whether at your normal work location or remotely – you should request sick leave, or Temporary Disability Leave (TDL). If you are unable to work due to the care of a sick family member, you should request sick leave.

What procedures should we follow for on-site monitoring of clinical trials and industry sponsored projects?

Remote monitoring should be utilized whenever possible. When on-site monitoring is required in CCTS facilities and other UK clinical trial spaces, please follow these procedures.

Scheduling: Monitor visits utilizing the CCTS and other areas of campus must do the following: 

  • Schedule the visit with the appropriate staff member(s) at least 1 week prior to the visit. The staff will confirm that a location is available. If space is not available, the study team will be responsible for locating a space in which social distancing can be maintained for the visit and notifying the staff. Visits occurring within less than a week’s notice will NOT be accommodated. 
  • The study team must contact the external monitor 1 day prior to the visit to screen using the survey below. If the visit is not going to occur due to the screening the staff must be notified immediately. 
  • The monitor must wear a mask. The monitor or study team will be responsible for providing all PPE. 
  • A time will be scheduled for the monitor to meet with staff member(s). The monitor should have all questions prepared to limit the amount of time of the face-to-face interaction. Anything that is able to be addressed remotely should be done that way. 

Screening: External monitors will be screened 1 day prior to their visit using the following survey by the study team member scheduling the visit. The screening must be documented. A “yes” to fever or any 2 of these questions will require further information and referral to a health care provider and their monitoring visit will be rescheduled. 

  • Do you have a new cough unrelated to seasonal allergies?
  • Do you have new muscle aches or pains?
  • Do you have new shortness of breath?
  • Do you have a sore throat (not associated with seasonal allergies)?
  • Have you had new onset vomiting or diarrhea?
  • Do you have a fever of 100.0 or greater?
  • Have you experienced chills with a fever recently?
  • Have you experienced a loss of taste or smell?

On the day of their monitoring visit, the monitor will be screened upon arrival at the CCTS or other UK facility. In the CCTS facility the front desk registrar will complete the RedCap survey for the monitor and record their temperatures on this document.  Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be escorted out of the center and will be referred to their personal physician and will not be allowed to complete their visit. 

If screening is approved, the study monitor will be escorted to the visit location and provided with all documents for the monitoring visit. The study team should provide the monitor with contact information in the event that they need something. The CCTS staff will come at their scheduled time to address any questions the monitor may have. The monitor will need to be prepared at the scheduled time. Many CCTS staff are working remotely and their office space has been reassigned. Therefore, they will need to limit their time on campus. 

At the conclusion of the visit the monitor should wipe down the binders and leave them in room. The CCTS staff will retrieve them and store them for 72 hours prior to accessing them in order to prevent the possible spread of COVID. Please note that any issues needing to be addressed that require accessing the binders will be delayed until after the 72 hours. 

How can I decontaminate my workspace?

Housekeeping/custodial groups will be cleaning high-touch surfaces in common areas such as doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons and handrails. Cleaning of high-touch surfaces in labs, offices, and other similar areas that will not be cleaned by housekeeping can be cleaned by individuals following CDC guidelines and the EPA's approved disinfectants list.